Eine Tiefenanalyse der Epifauna an der Unterwasserkonstruktion der Forschungsplattform FINO 1

Lars.Gutow [ at ] awi.de


The demand for offshore wind power is expected to rise in the future in Germany. This will result in a substantial implementation of artificial hard substrates in areas which are naturally characterized by sedimentary habitats. This will affect the composition of the species communities of the respective area because artificial hard substrates in the marine environment are known to provide habitat for various species. The epibiota on the submerged structure of the research platform FINO 1 in the German Bright was investigated by digital underwater photography. Uni- and multivariate analysis revealed a specific zonation pattern in the composition of the epifauna along a vertical pylon of the underwater construction. The composition of the epifaunal community was characteristic for artificial hard substrates in the North Sea. Dominant taxa were the blue mussel Mytilus edulis, the amphipod Jassa spp., anthozoans, and the sponge Halichondria panicea. A comparison with the composition of the epifauna in the year 2007 showed substantial changes in the community in specific water depths due to successional development of the fauna. A literature research verified the hypothesis that the diversity of epibenthic communities is higher on natural than on artificial hard substrates. However, the elevated input of artificial hard substrates along with other disturbing effects of offshore wind farms such as noise, shadowing, electromagnetic fields and changed hydrological conditions may influence the marine benthic environment. The potential ecological implications of the addition of these anthropogenic habitats for benthic communities are discussed.

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Thesis (Bachelor)
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Simon, S. (2012): Eine Tiefenanalyse der Epifauna an der Unterwasserkonstruktion der Forschungsplattform FINO 1 , Bachelor thesis, Bremen University of Applied Science.

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